Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Plant Fats Reduce Cholesterol

Plant Fats Reduce Cholesterol by Ethan Miller

New research published last October in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that patients with high cholesterol who are take high-dose statin drugs may reduce the damage to their hearts by supplementing their diets with foods rich in plant sterols.

High cholesterol -- hypercholesterolaemia –causes cardiovascular disease. Heart disease causes 50 percent of deaths in Europe, and costs the EU $202 billion each year

The new research confirms previous studies by claiming that patients with high cholesterol can reduce their cholesterol levels by 8 to 17 percent by consuming 1.5 to 3 grams of plant sterols or stanols every day, which translates to a reduction in the risk of heart disease.

Researchers from the University Medical Centre Utrecht and the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands studied 20 hypercholesterolaemic patients who took the daily maximum dose of statin drugs -- atorvastatin or simvastatin, 80 mg.

The study split the participants into two groups: the first received 3 grams of plant stanol-enriched margarine per day (Johnson & Johnson brand Benecol) for six weeks, and the second group received stanol-free margarine each day for six weeks.

Both margarines contained 62 percent fat. At the end of the trial, the group given stanol-enriched margarine had a 9.9 percent reduction in plasma cholesterol and a 15.6 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol. Their levels of apolipoprotein B (ApoB) -- responsible for transporting cholesterol to tissues -- dropped by 10.8 percent.

Conversely, the control group only experienced a 7.7 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels. Total cholesterol remained the same, and ApoB levels fell by 6.8 percent. "Intensive dietary intervention with addition of plant stanols results in clinically relevant reduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in patients optimally treated with statins, compared with similar patients on statins receiving only standard care," the researchers wrote.

Mike Adams, author of "Grocery Warning," says this research should indicate to patients that plant stanols and sterols can actually replace statin drugs

"Statin drugs are dangerous chemicals that can produce extremely harmful -- even fatal -- side effects," Adams said. "Replacing them with plant-based medicines under the care of a naturopathic physician can greatly improve the health of patients while greatly reducing the cost of their treatment." Source: Newtarget.com

Some of these cholesterol lowering drugs have negative side effects such as memory loss, muscle fatigue, CoQ10 deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, sex hormone depletion and adrenal depletion.

This research confirms what naturalists have been telling the health industry for a decade. It is not eating fat that increases cholesterol. Eating animal fat increases cholesterol. In fact, switching from animal fat to plant fat can actually lower cholesterol.

Plant fats from avocados, almonds, pecans, peanuts, chia seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, and so on. If it's from the plant world, the fat is good for you – in moderation.

The trick is to eat ‘raw’ fats, not cooked fats. One serving of raw almonds a day can reduce the risk of heart attacks or stroke by 53 percent, according to the research quoted by Mike Adams.

And raw nuts and seeds offer plenty of calcium, to replace dairy products. Chia seeds and almonds are both good sources of calcium.

The medical community is working toward finding healthy methods of lowering cholesterol but self-empowerment and personal responsibility is still the defining factor in survival rates

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